News : Atlanta Implements Tax to Cover Debt for 911 Call Center
Atlanta, GA, USA, Aug 20, 2015 -- If you’re a property owner in the city of Atlanta, you can expect to pay a new tax.
"Personally, I think this is a rip-off," homeowner James Hemphill said.
Hemphill could not believe the city of Atlanta implemented a permanent 911 tax without his knowledge.
"You’re not knocking on my door and telling me what’s going on, but then you’re taking my money," Hemphill said.
"I’ve never heard of this fee," property owner Nancy Quan-Sellers said.
Quan-Sellers inherited a vacant property from her family some 20 years ago and has been paying taxes on it ever since, but she was surprised when her latest tax bill showed up in the mail.
"That was a real shock because I had no idea there was going to be any 911 fee attached to my solid waste bill," Quan-Sellers said.
She said she was charged $307 for a 911 fee without any explanation.
"It’s shocking because as a cell phone user, we currently pay a monthly 911 fee to the cell phone companies," Quan-Sellers said.
CBS46 has learned they city is now charging $307 a year for any property zoned commercial. They’re also charging $26 annually for property zoned residential. It’s an attempt to fund the city’s 911 center that is more than $12 million in debt.
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"Whoever is responsible for doing this needs to get themselves together and get with God because you don’t take people’s money," Hemphill said.
"It is really a finance issue. City council adopted an ordinance to assess a fee to cover the budget shortfall of operating the 911 center and funding capital projects," Atlanta 911 Center Director Angela Barrett said.
"There should have been exemptions made for vacant land, even if it’s zoned commercial or residential, as well as an exemption for senior citizens," Quan-Sellers said.
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Published: Friday, August 21, 2015
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